Saturday, August 17, 2013

First Week of School!

Just finished our first week back to school! I had such a wonderful week with my class! They are all so cute and did so well on their first full week of school! I have full day kindergarten and I was really proud of how well all of my students did for being at school all day long.

       I must first say that this week was also wonderful because the last two years of teaching I had between 29-32 students in my class! This year our school hired another kindergarten teacher before the school year started and I have 20 students in my class. What a difference my week was compared to the last two! It was just so much better and beneficial for the students with the smaller class size! (not to mention my sanity!)

    Our first week of school was full of fun and LOTS and LOTS of practice on procedures, rules, and behaviors. Here are some highlights from the first day of school:

First Day of School:
-Students played with playdoh at their seats when they came into the classroom. While students played with playdoh, this allowed me to meet new students and parents that did not make it to 'Meet the Teacher Night'.

-We got to know each other by playing a game with a beach ball. When a student would get the ball rolled to them, they would tell the class their name and their favorite food. (We REALLY like pizza in our class!)

-We talked about sitting on the carpet and used our friend to help us remember how we are supposed to sit and raise our hand if we want to talk. I have him hanging up in my room for the first 2 months and will refer to him when I see students getting squirmy at the carpet.
-We read 'David Goes to School' (which my class LOVED!). We were laughing and just could not believe the way that David behaved in school! We talked about how hard it would be if we had someone like David in our classroom.

-I let the students explore some of my toys and had indoor recess. (It was a rainy day!)

-We read one of my favorite first day of school stories: 'The Kissing Hand'. We talked about how being at school is different than being with mom, dad, family, or babysitter and that it might make us have different feelings and that is all okay.

-I gave each student a card with their name on it and they got to share with the class how they felt coming to school today. I loved how we had so many different feelings. This allowed my class to see how that is all okay to feel different than others. 

-We made a craft to go with our story! I traced their hands onto a paper plate and cut them out. I attached a poem to go with the hand.
(I gave them a kiss from me too!... a HERSHEY KISS!!)

-I modeled coloring and showed them different ways of coloring. I colored very nicely on one paper and then I scribbled all over another paper. I had students tell me which one they thought I tried harder on and why. They then got to color a first day of kindergarten page. I have a page for the girls and one for the boys.

-We read another first day favorite: 'The Gingerbread Man'
I stop reading right before the fox eats the gingerbread man and inside the back of the book is a note (I wrote) from the gingerbread man. In the note, he tells us that he ran away from the fox and is coming to see us at school. However, we need to find him!!
Then we went on a scavenger hunt all over the school where he leaves us notes. This also gives the students a chance to see the entire school.
The gingerbread man ends us sneaking into our classroom while we are out looking for him. When we find him, he also brings us gingerbread cookies for us to eat! Here is the gingerbread man that I made for us to find:

-Songs we sang on our first day were: 'Tooty Ta' and 'If You're Happy and You Know It'

-Before they leave, I pass them out a treat bag for doing such a great job on their first day of school! 

-I introduce their purple folders that they will be bring to school each day and explained that the green handprint are for papers that they leave at home and the yellow handprint are papers they need to return to school. I have pictures on the handprints to for help!

(Click HERE or on the picture above to grab the parent hand flip book that you see on the green hand side)

What a GREAT first day of school! I know I was tired and so were some students! I had a couple fall asleep while we were packing up to go home! So precious!

Here are some freebies from my first day of school:
 (*Updated for 2014-2015 School Year!)

Here are some highlights from the first week:

Many of my students do not know how to write their name yet so I like to start off the year with LOTS of activities to help them practice writing their name so that they can learn how to do it on their own. This week we traced our names, I wrote their names in highlighter and they traced it, we did our name with rainbow writing, made a name mosaic (this helped us practice our gluing too!). We will do lots of different name activities next week for more practice!

Rainbow Writing our names

Name Mosaics

We read 'A My Name is Alice'. We thought this book was funny! We used construction paper to make ourselves. They turned out adorable and my class did a great job being creative!

(I had to share this! My one student was very excited about his witch. I love the double face!)

We then had a chart and I wrote out ___ my name is 
________. Each student came up and we helped them fill out the first blank and I already had their name filled in on the second blank. (I forgot to take a picture of the chart!)
 We picked out a foam letter that was the first letter in our name and wrote our name by ourselves (some students traced)! We also counted how many letters are in our name.

This will go with our self portraits we made out of construction paper and will be hanging in the hallway on Monday!

We learned about numbers 1, 2, & 3 this week! We used the Number Boards to help us learn all about those numbers and our number pages. Check out below to get these pages! 

Click HERE or the picture below to get the number activities that go along with these number boards:

This week we learned all about the letters M & O. A fun activity I like to do with each letter is to see which students have the letter we are learning in their name. They each get their name card and come up to the pocket chart to determine if they do or do not have that letter in their name. If they do, they get to wear a star necklace with that letter they have in their name for the day. This lets everyone see the letter all day long and really helps everyone remember that particular letter! They get so excited when they have the letter in their name!

(Click HERE or the picture above to get these necklaces for FREE!)

Routines and Behaviors: We have lots to learn about the routines in the class and our behaviors, expectations, etc. We reread David Goes to School and also read a cute story called 'The Day the Monster Came to School'. Each student got a picture card with a behavior on it and chose whether that behavior was a good choice or poor choice. 

(a very helpful chart I use for procedures for my ESL students)

Lots of Fun: 
We sang lots of songs and danced a lot! I love to have fun with my class! We also made a cute handprint puzzle which I got the idea from Deanna Jump. Once the puzzles dried, we put them together at our tables. I got these puzzles from here. They are a great price and come with envelopes! They ship them very quickly as well!

(**Best advice I can give: put their names on the back of each puzzle piece! I did not do this last year and I can't tell you how many parents came back with missing puzzle pieces and pieces that did not go to their puzzle.)

Here are 10 different name activities that are completely EDITABLE for you to use in your classroom! Click HERE or on the picture below:

Looking forward to a great year with my class!! 


  1. Very busy activities! What did you put in their treat bags? Also, where did you find the good/bad behavior picture cards? Have a good first week this year!

    1. Hi! Yes, very busy! I like to put a bag of goldfish, one small playdoh, smarties, dum dum lollipops, and a pack of fruit snacks in the treat bags. I will have to check to see where I got those behavior pictures. They are from a few years ago. I will get back to you on that! Thanks! I hope you have a wonderful first week as well! :)

  2. What material do you use for the board part of the number boards? Thank you!

    1. Hi! I use the extra thick poster boards. You can find them at Walmart in the pasteboard aisle near office supplies. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions :)

  3. Hi! I would also like to know where you got the good/bad behavior cards, the rainbow writing name sheets, and the good choices/bad choices cards

  4. Hi! Thank you for your wonderful ideas. I'm trying to order some of those puzzles and I'm having trouble. Did you have to create an account on a different site to be able to purchase the puzzles. I put the quantities and click on "looks good to me" and then the site redirects me to another site. Did this happen to you?

    1. Hi Sarai! So I just went on to the website and tried ordering them and it is not working! I went to call them and as I found the phone number there is a message on the site that says, 'We are currently updating our website and our shopping cart is not working'. So I think that is where the problem is. Hopefully it is up and running soon!! Thanks for letting me know there was some trouble with the site! Hope you are having a great summer! :)


    2. I have bought those blank puzzles at Michael's craft store.

  5. Can you tell me where you got those behavior choice cards, I've been looking for those and they look awesome!

    1. Hi! So I finally found where I got these behavior cards. I got them so long ago! They are from Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten blog and they are for FREE! Here is a link to this cards:

  6. Hi can you tell me what size are the puzzles? I'm trying to order them!! Great ideas for the first week of school! Thank you!!

    1. Hi Rosario!! I am so sorry I am getting back to you so late!! I was out of town.
      The puzzles are 8"x 5.5" and there are 12 pieces with envelopes. Thanks so much for checking out my blog! :)


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